So you’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and your doctor has prescribed some very expensive medication.
You have no insurance, limited prescription coverage, or high co-payment requirements, and are a U.S. resident.
What do you do? Call the support program for the drug of your choice.
Most pharmaceutical companies have assistance programs which help patients obtain their medication at a reduced cost. The drug companies really want you to use their medications, so they have programs set up to navigate insurance coverage, maximize reimbursement, and lower out-of-pocket costs for the patient so that they gain market share.
For generic medications, consider the $4 programs at stores such as Walmart or Target. Or for mail-order and a most extensive list of generic medications, check Rx Outreach http://rxoutreach.org/ which just recently raised the rates on their service.
Providing co-payment assistance to insured patients are Patient Access Network Foundation (PANF) and Chronic Disease Fund (CDF). PANF specifies an income limit of 300% Federal Poverty Level (2008 FPL Guidelines) while CDF’s income requirements are undisclosed. The maximum award from PANF is $4000. Listed drugs include Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, Rebif, Tysabri (CDF only).
National Organization for Rare Disorders, NORD offers the MS Premium Co-Pay Assistance Program which has a $5400 maximum award toward only approved medications.
Copaxone Patient Assistance Program - Call Shared Solutions at 1-800-887-8100
Betaseron Patient Assistance Program - Call BetaPlus at 1-800-778-1467
Rebif Patient Assistance Program - Call MS LifeLines Access Made Simple at 1-877-447-3243
Avonex and Tysabri Access Programs - Call MS Active Source at 1-800-456-2255
The following programs do not have MS-related funds: Co-Pay Relief Fund, Patient Advocate Foundation, Patient Services Incorporated, HealthWell Foundation.
For assistance in receiving generic medications at a reasonable price, check out the program at Rx Outreach. A program I’ve come to use regularly.
I’m curious. How do you pay for your meds? Do you need or receive assistance? Please share your story.** Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.**
Lisa Emrich is a patient advocate, accomplished speaker, author of the award-winning blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA, and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Lisa uses her experience to educate patients, raise disease awareness, encourage self-advocacy, and support patient-centered research. Lisa frequently works with non-profit organizations and has brought the patient voice to health care conferences and meetings worldwide. Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.